I showed up for chemo like I always do. Had my blood drawn and waited around to be called for far too long. I always suspect that they might tell me my counts are too low, but they weren’t. I was finally called back. I no longer see Dr. C before chemo because I’m doing too well for that to be necessary. Instead she comes in to visit and chat while I receive my treatment.
We got settled into an area and my nurse plugged me in for treatment. After downing a bottle of water and taking in a few bags of premeds, I really needed to use the bathroom. I walked in and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. There I was, slightly paler than normal, dragging my IV, wearing a wig, and with one eyebrow looking slightly more sparse than the other. I couldn’t help but think, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’
When you are first diagnosed it’s so easy to be swallowed up by the new, big, scary world that you are forced to exist in. That becomes your main world and you occasionally venture out to visit what used to be your life. Since I started chemo, I’ve been able to spend alot more time living. Despite the downsides of chemo, it follows me around like a big hulking body guard, protecting my life, lessening my fears. I imagine that these powerful drugs have acted as a reset button, fixing my cells so they no longer go rogue. It’s easier to focus on other things as a result, and sometimes I forget that cancer happened.
It’s funny… in recent years I have craved challenges of physical endurance, mental strength and discipline. I wanted so badly to see myself as strong and fierce. I wanted to push past my limits and become a braver, tougher person. It would seem that all of that training was in preparation for this trial. I think I’ve achieved those traits. I think they have gotten me through this hellish ordeal and now I can see the finish line just ahead.
I’m almost done with chemo.
One more sprint. I must fight through the fear. I must do what I have to do. I must keep my eyes on a fixed point ahead and move toward it until it’s finally within reach. I must fight for my life.
Five rounds behind me. One round to go.